During the next four months, Dawson will be a partner of Vitrine technologie-éducation (VTÉ) for a feasibility study in the context of the 2017-18 Entente Canada Québec grant awarded by the MEES to the VTÉ for the Open textbook project.

The goal of this project is to assess the interests of anglophone colleges for sharing and reusing open educational resources (OER). In this feasibility work, the focus will be on a specific type of OER that is freely available, online digital textbooks. Recently, several initiatives around OER in higher education have emerged in the Canadian higher education, such as eCampus-Ontario and OpenUBC. The purpose of these initiatives is to enable teachers to enrich their courses with all types of digital resources, share teaching materials, support students’ self-directed learning, and reduce their expenses for textbooks.

This project will also evaluate the role of the different actors of such an initiative. Indeed, several types of actors play an important role in an OER approach. These are not only teachers, but also librarians, educational advisors, IT and audiovisual technicians, and project managers. Enforcing copyright policies (such as creative commons), bibliographies and referencing, adaptation and production of illustrations and figures, as well as pedagogical and didactic techniques are also an integral part of the project.

At Dawson College, Chris Roderick (physics) will evaluate some open textbooks and resources on the web, with two goals in mind:

  • First, for the course Physics for Physiotherapy Technology (203-946-DW) he aims to develop a course pack that is tailored to the content and level required for the Physiotherapy Technology Program: college-level, algebra-based mechanics with a heavy emphasis on examples drawn from biomechanical contexts and sports medicine.
  • Second, to lay the groundwork for utilizing open textbooks and resources for the core physics courses in the Science Program.

Rafael Scapin, coordinator of educational technology, Pascale Blanc from VTÉ and librarian (TBD) will support Chris in this pilot project at Dawson College.

This work is a great opportunity to explore how teachers can provide their students with valuable and free learning resources. Of course, we will provide an update at the end of the pilot project.

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